World-renowned visual artist and filmmaker Shirin Neshat’s provocative yet poetic work addresses issues of social repression among women, in her native Iran and beyond. Through haunting allegory and imagery, she portrays women as complex individuals with desires and ambitions, who move between intense private feelings and public life. Reaching beyond her own identity, Neshat also addresses broader concerns about cultural beliefs and the power of the erotic.
Shirin Neshat is an Iranian-born artist who left her native country at the age of 17 to study art in the United States. She graduated from UC Berkeley in 1982. Upon returning to her country as an adult, Neshat encountered a reality far from the one of her memory, and this discord inspired meditations on memory, loss, and contemporary life in Iran that are central to her work. Her video and installation works explore the political and social conditions of Iranian and Muslim life, particularly focusing on women and feminist issues. Neshat’s many awards include: First International Prize, Venice Biennale (1999); Edinburgh International Film Festival (2000); International Center of Photography (2002); and the Hiroshima Freedom Prize (2005).
Christy MacLear is the Founding Executive Director of the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, which fosters the legacy of Rauschenberg’s life, work and his philosophy that art can change the world. MacLear's career is defined by projects that intersect business strategy and culture. She was the inaugural Executive Director of the Philip Johnson Glass House; directed the Museum Campus in Chicago that created a lakefront park; and managed strategic planning for the Walt Disney Company’s new town, Celebration.
Photo credit: Rapture, 1999
The Broad Art Foundation, Santa Monica
© Shirin Neshat
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